Along the way, Thomas Edison may have played a key role in disseminating the innovations of black music—although that was the exact opposite of what he intended.
Never made these connections. I sort of had a pre-conscience awareness of how recording influenced music. I had no idea of Edison’s influence on performance!!
And, I too find the notions of “product” and “content” pernicious!!
You can still hear traces of the old vibrato in recordings of European singers who came out of the live cafe music tradition, like Edith Piaf.
Edison would have lost his mind recording vocal Indian Ragas - I think an octave has 32 notes and the singer can glide between them. His head would've exploded!
This is great content!! 😜
Really thought provoking article. I’d love to read more of your perspective on the evolution of jazz/blues.
much appreciation for this (music) history lesson, Ted!
Ironic that Edison propagated the worst racist "coon" song recordings, as well as "whiteface" comedy sketch recordings!